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Full-Scale House Fire Experiment for InterFIRE VR, May 6, 1998. Report of Test.



Anthony D. Putorti Jr., Jay A. McElroy


A public/private partnership involving multiple federal agencies and private industry was assembled to develop a comprehensive fire investigation training tool. The partnership consisted of the following federal agencies: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the U.S. Fire Administration, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); and private industry partners: American Re-Insurance and the National Fire Protection Association. NIST provided technical assistance to the partnership during development of an educational interactive CD-ROM for fire investigators, titled "InterFIRE VR." The CD-ROM contains video of fire ignition and development in a single family dwelling, as well as visual documentation of the pre- and post-fire scene. Prior to the fire, NIST provided input into the choice of furnishings, fire scenarios, and ventilation conditions necessary for the desired fire effects. Recommendations were developed using the results of computer-based zone fire models, empirical correlations, and engineering judgment. During the fire experiment, NIST conducted measurements of temperature and radiant heat flux, and recorded video inside the structure. Data were recorded every 3 s with a computerized acquisition system. The experiment discussed in this report occurred on May 6, 1998, at the Massachusetts State Police Academy, 340 Brookfield Rd., New Braintree, Massachusetts. The address of the dwelling was 5 Circle Drive, New Braintree, Massachusetts. The measurements conducted in the structure during the test included: ceiling to floor temperatures within various rooms, and radiant heat flux at floor level. The fuels for the fire consisted of household furnishings and a liquid accelerant: two-cycle engine fuel.
Report of Test FR 4009
Report Number


home fires, experiments, arson, fire investigators, radiation heat flux, building fires, fire investigations, temperature, residential buildings, fuel load, thermocouples, temperature measurements


Putorti, A. and McElroy, J. (2000), Full-Scale House Fire Experiment for InterFIRE VR, May 6, 1998. Report of Test., Report of Test FR 4009, [online], (Accessed April 12, 2024)
Created April 10, 2000, Updated February 19, 2017